The Crimson Catalysis Team investigates catalysts that will transform our nation's energy future.
Recently we have focused on fuel cells and hydrogen production. Specifically, we have studied catalysts used to 1) make hydrogen by reforming hydrocarbons, 2) purify hydrogen to remove carbon monoxide, and 3) convert hydrogen to electricity at the fuel cell electrodes. We are interested in making the catalysts more active, selective, and stable. In addition, since they are most often made from expensive noble metals like platinum, we would like to minimize the amount needed or, better yet, find other catalytically active metals. Click on "News" to see our latest results.
We have one of the best equipped laboratories for catalysis research in the nation. This includes the DOW Reaction Research Laboratory featuring laboratory scale reactors and auxiliary equipment (mass flow controllers, gas chromatographs, etc.) for testing catalyst performance. The Microreactor Laboratory features two temperature programmed reactors with mass spectrometers, reactor for chemisorption studies, and a BET instrument for surface area measurement. The Electrocatalysis Laboratory features two fuel cell test stations, a rotating disk electrode, and the facilities to make catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies. In the nearby laboratories of collaborating research groups and the university's Central Analytical Facility, we have use of two x-ray photoelectron spectrometers, x-ray diffractometer, a high resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopes, and a diffuse reflectance infrared spectrometer. Click on "Lab Tour" to see our facilities.
In the future, we intend to increase our focus on electrochemistry. This technology is at the heart of our world's energy future including fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, and hydrogen storage, and more efficient chemical synthesis.